Friday, March 21, 2014

Buru Bullshit continues

LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL Question on notice
Thursday, 20 February 2014
760. Hon Robin Chapple to the Minister for Agriculture and Food representing the Minister for Mines and Petroleum.
With regard to the Buru Energy Limited wells at Yulleroo 3 and 4 and with reference to photographs of these wells, being IMG_0797.JPG, IMG_0794.JPG, IMG_0823.JPG and IMG_0827.JPG ofYulleroo 3 and IMG_0814.JPG, IMG_0809.JPG, IMG_0804.JPG, IMG_0805.JPG and IMG_0808.JPG ofYulleroo 4 that were taken on 12/02/2014, which are located at 

I ask:
(a) at Yulleroo 4, why is there a difference in water height between the water levels in the two dams;
(b) at Yulleroo 4, what is ,the material floating on the surface of the water in IMG_0804.JPG and IMG_0805.JPG;
(c) at Yulleroo 4 in IMG_0804.JPG and IMG_0805.JPG there is evidence of water having escaped from the lined dam, as shown by the riling on the flank of the pond that is closest to the camera. Is this permissible:
(i) if yes to (c), why;
(ii) if yes to (c), what processes are available to ensure that dams used to contain chemical fluids used in the process of fracking will not be similarly dispersed into the environment in times of seasonal flooding;

(iii) if no to (c), what action will the Minister take;
(iv) if no to (c), was the department advised of this event and when; and
(v) if no to (c)(iv), why not;

(d) what were the contents ofthe dams at the Yulleroo 4 site;
(e) were the contents of the large dam depicted in IMG_0809.JPG and IMG_1808.JPG drained, siphoned or pumped out via the pipe that is seen leading to a large body of water outside the boundary of the pad in the top right hand comer of the photos:
(i) if yes to (e), is this activity permitted and on what grounds;
(ii) if yes to (e), was the department advised ofthis activity;
(iii) if yes to (e)(i), what processes are available to ensure that dams used to contain chemical fluids associated with the process of fracking will not be similarly dispersed into the environment in times of seasonal flooding; and
(iv) ifno to (e)(i), what action will the Minister take;

(f) At Yulleroo 4 in photos IMG_0809.JPG and IMG_0808.JPG there is evidence of the contents of this lined dam having overtopped to the left-hand bottom comer of the pictures. Is this permissible:
(i) if yes to (f) why; and
(ii) ifno to (f) what action will the Minister take;
(g) at Yulleroo 3, why is there a difference in the water height between the water

levels in the three dams;
(h) at Yulleroo 3, what is the purpose of the pipe that is submerged and leading from the dam to a large body of water at the other end of the pipe shown in IMG_0827.JPG; and
(i) ifthe purpose of this pipe was to drain the three dams shown in IMG_0827.JPG, is this activity permitted:
(i) if yes to (i), was the department advised of the activity;
(ii) if yes to (i), on what grounds is the draining of these dams permitted; and (iii) if no to (i), what action will the Minister take?

The Department of Mines and Petroleum advises: (a)
The difference in water height in the two ponds relates to the time the fluids have had to evaporate and the evaporation rate based on the surface area and design of the ponds.
(b) The material is drill cuttings and cement. (c) No
  1. (i)  Not applicable
  2. (ii)  Not applicable
  3. (iii)  Bum made modifications to ensure that there will be no further overflow from the retention pond and have been conducting weekly inspections of the site since May 2013.
  4. (iv)  Yes, in April 2013.
  5. (v)  Not applicable
(d) One pond contains drill cuttings, drill fluid, cement and collected rain water. The fluids in this pond were being left to evaporate in the dry season. The other pond was used to hold bore water for drilling operations however now contains collected rainwater.
(e) Yes
  1. (i)  Yes. Bum's approved Environment Plan allowed for the discharge of this water to the well site firebreak providing the water was tested for constituents of potential concern and determined to pose no risk to the environment.
  2. (ii)  Yes
  3. (iii)  Bum are required to maintain sufficient freeboard in all retention ponds holding flowback water and have a contingency plan in place should there be potential for the maximum capacity of ponds to be exceeded.
  4. (iv)  Not applicable
(f) No. All retention ponds, including ponds containing only rainwater, should be maintained to ensure there are no uncontrolled discharges.
  1. (i)  Not applicable
  2. (ii)  The overflow was caused by a storm event. Buru was advised that there should be no overflow of retention ponds at their well sites at any time and have made modifications to ensure that there will be no further overflow from the retention ponds.
(g) At Yulleroo 3 there is one retention pond containing drill fluids and drill cuttings, the other ponds contain collected rainwater. The difference in water height in the ponds relates to the time the fluids have had to evaporate and the evaporation rate based on the surface area and design of the ponds.
(h) To drain excess water in the water retention pond. (i) Yes
(i) (ii)
Buru's approved Environment Plan allowed for the discharge of water to the well site firebreak providing the water was tes~ed for constituents of potential concern and determined to pose no risk to the environment.
Not applicable 


  1. Oil Basins Gets 6-Year Grant for Derby Block in Western Australia

    by Oil Basins Ltd.

    Press Release
    Friday, March 21, 2014-

    Oil Basins Limited, an Australia-focused oil and gas exploration company, reported Friday that the company wish to make the following ASX announcement to keep the market fully informed about the grant of Derby Block in Western Australia.

    The Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) has comfirmed to the Company after the close of trading yesterday that the Grant of Derby Block (formerly 5/07-EP) as Permit EP 487, has been made for a period of 6 years (commencing March 14 and finishing March 13, 2020).

    The Company will advise the market on ownership and other relarted matters in due course.

    Earlier on March 13, DMP confirmed receipt of the Company's formally lodged acceptance of the Offer on behalf of Joint 5/07-8 EP Applicants. -

  2. Transocean Legend Spuds Poseidon North-1 Well in Browse Basin

    by Karoon Gas Australia Ltd.

    Press Release
    Thursday, March 20, 2014-

    Karoon Gas Australia Ltd announced Thursday that Poseidon North-1, the fifth well in the Browse Basin Phase 2 exploration drilling campaign in permit WA-315-P in Western Australia, was spud at 21:40 WDT March 19.

    The Poseidon North-1 exploration well, located 4 miles (6.5 kilometers) north-east of Poseidon-1 in permit WA-315-P, on the crest of a large, titled fault block, is targeting the Plover and Montara formations and has the potential to add significantly to the already discovered Greater Poseidon area resource.

    The six well Browse Basin Phase 2 exploration drilling campaign will continue through calendar year 2014 using the Transocean Legend (mid-water semisub). Four of the six wells have been completed so far. The well location for the last exploration well of the campaign will be announced upon joint venture approval. The principal objective of the campaign is to better define the size and quality of the hydrocarbon resource within the exploration permits which contain the Greater Poseidon trend.

    ConocoPhillips is the operator of the WA-315-P Browse Basin permit in which Karoon Gas Australia Ltd holds 40 percent. -



    "BG will cut about a quarter of the staff at its head office in Reading, England, the paper said on its website, without citing sources.

    It added that BG would make significant reductions to its 1,000 employees in Australia, where it is building a series of liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects.

    The company has been holding talks with staff over the past few days outlining the redundancy package on offer, the Times said."


    Australia's LNG Export Focus Impacting Future Investment -

    An Energy Users Association of Australia (EUAA) study has forecast that the eastern Australian gas sector’s shift to an export focus to support major liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects will significantly affect future employment and investment.

    The EUAA, Australia’s peak industry body for energy users, released a scoping study this week exploring the potential impact of high gas prices on the industry and economy.

    In its findings, the EUAA explained that the eastern Australian gas market had transitioned from a domestic focus to an export focus to support the major developments. According to EUAA Chief Executive Officer Phil Barresi:

    “Subsequently, industry has experienced significantly higher gas prices and an inability to constructively negotiate long term gas supply contracts.

    “For some time now we’ve been ringing the alarm bells about the difficulty facing domestic gas energy users in securing predictable supply at competitive prices.


    ” A key finding from the study indicated a decline in employment of up to 3,300 jobs by 2020, along with reduced capital expenditure of more than $1.72 billion (AUD $1.9 billion) during that period.


    The three LNG plants currently under construction in eastern Australia – Australia Pacific LNG, Queensland Curtis LNG and Gladstone LNG – have an associated capital expenditure estimated at $54.4 billion (AUD $60 billion), the EUAA said.

    “Once operating, approximately half of the value created by LNG proponents will remain in Australia, reflecting the high foreign ownership of the LNG proponents,” Barresi said. “Australia has some of the largest gas reserves in the world.

    What we’re distinctly lacking, however, is sound policy from all levels of government to resolve this very real issue.”

    The EUAA commissioned Marsden Jacob Associates to undertake the study.


    And when all these plants are built - the Gladstone ones will be mostly done by years end - the 10's of thousands of people working on them won't all get a job at Roy Hill.

    Gorgon would be getting close if it wasn't for cost and time blowouts.

  4. Remember this?

    High gas price puts 200,000 at risk

    Sarah-Jane Tasker |
    The Australian |
    August 14, 2013

    AUSTRALIA'S manufacturing sector is set to face further challenges, with 200,000 jobs at risk if gas exports from the east coast are not restricted, a leading industry group has warned.

    The sector is already struggling with high labour costs, productivity issues and regulatory burdens and Manufacturing Australia - a business coalition driven by some of the country's largest manufacturing companies - has added domestic gas security as a new major headwind.

    Manufacturing Australia chairwoman Sue Morphet, who represents companies including Amcor, CSR, BlueScope and Incitec Pivot, said the group had done major research over the past six months and was of the view that 200,000 jobs were at risk because of a potential future shortage of domestic gas.

    Ms Morphet highlighted that as gas producers looked to export the energy, local manufacturers would struggle to sign long-term gas contracts, or if they did, it would be at higher prices to match export prices. Apart from the impact on 200,000 jobs, she said it would also represent a $28 billion loss to Australia's economy.

    "If all of a sudden the sector has to deal with high energy prices, as well as the other headwinds, it will be the straw that breaks their back and they will not come back," Ms Morphet said in an interview with The Australian.

    "So if we lose 200,000 jobs associated with this sector, we will not bring them back for decades, if indeed ever."

    When gas export licences were granted, the significant export contracts signed for east coast gas were done on forecasts far greater than the producers had been able to yield, she said

    There were no safeguards put in place to protect Australia's domestic gas needs. The gas producers would need to tap into Australia's traditional gas supplies to meet their requirements for export contracts.

    "There will be a significant shortage (of domestic gas). There will be some places where there won't be gas available and the gas that is available will be charged at export prices," Ms Morphet said.

    "Rather than there being a competitive domestic gas market that sets its price, we will now have our domestic gas taken up to international export gas prices, so prices could double or triple



    Ms. Morphet said ...

    "There are around 4,000 ongoing jobs in LNG export. Around 5% of these could be at risk if government intervened in East Coast gas markets in order to save almost 200,000 jobs in Australian manufacturing. I think that’s an equation most Australians would regard as a ‘no-brainer’," Ms. Morphet said.

    "“The bottom line is that intervention by State and Federal governments is urgent and necessary, before our energy advantage is sent offshore permanently."

  5. "The wilful ignorance in Australia about its first people has now become the kind of intolerance that gets to the point where you can smash an entire group of humanity and there is no fuss."


    Another stolen generation: how Australia still wrecks Aboriginal families

    The mass removal of Indigenous children from their parents continues unabated – where is the outrage?

    John Pilger

    The Guardian, Saturday 22 March 2014

    ..................Described by a chief protector of Aborigines as "breeding out the colour", the policy was known as assimilation. It was influenced by the same eugenics movement that inspired the Nazis.

    .....sheer brutality of the act of forced separation ... the product of the deliberate, calculated policies of the state". The report called this genocide.

    Assimilation remains Australian government policy in all but name. Euphemisms such as "reconciliation" and "Stronger Futures" cover similar social engineering and an enduring, insidious racism in the political elite, the bureaucracy and wider Australian society. When in 2008 prime minister Kevin Rudd apologised for the stolen generation, he added: "I want to be blunt about this. There will be no compensation." The Sydney Morning Herald congratulated Rudd on a "shrewd manoeuvre" that "cleared away a piece of political wreckage in a way that responds to some of its own supporters' emotional needs, yet changes nothing".

    Today, the theft of Aboriginal children – including babies taken from the birth table – is now more widespread than at any time during the last century. As of June last year, almost 14,000 Aboriginal children had been "removed". This is five times the number when Bringing Them Home was written. More than a third of all removed children are Aboriginal – from 3% of the population. At the present rate, this mass removal of Aboriginal children will result in a stolen generation of more than 3,300 children in the Northern Territory alone.


    Once she was "invited" by officials to bring her children to "neutral" offices to discuss a "care plan". The doors were locked and officials seized the children, with one of the youngest dragging on a police officer's gun belt. Many Indigenous mothers are unaware of their legal rights. A secretive children's court has become notorious for rubber-stamping removals.

    Most Aboriginal families live on the edge. Their life expectancy in towns a short flight from Sydney is as low as 37.


    Pat has both complied with and struggled bravely against a punitive bureaucracy that can remove children on hearsay. She has twice been acquitted of false charges, including "kidnapping" her own children. A psychologist has described her as a capable and good mother.

    Josie Crawshaw, the former director of a respected families' support organisation in Darwin, told me: "In remote areas, officials will go in with a plane in the early hours and fly the child thousands of kilometres from their community. There'll be no explanation, no support, and the child may be gone forever."


    In 2012 the co-ordinator general of remote services for the Northern Territory, Olga Havnen, was sacked when she revealed that almost A$80m (£44m) was spent on the surveillance and removal of Aboriginal children compared with only A$500,000 (£275,000) on supporting the same impoverished families.


    The New South Wales parliament is soon to debate legislation that introduces forced adoption and "guardianship". Children under two years old will be liable – without the mother's consent – if "removed" for more than six months. For many Aboriginal mothers like Pat, it can take six months merely to make contact with their children. "It's setting up Aboriginal families to fail," said Shoebridge.

  6. News from the "Slug"


    Slugcatcher and testing times for the world’s shale gas industry

    Monday, 24 March 2014

    MASTERING the technology used to discover and extract oil and gas from tight rocks, such as shale, is proving to be more difficult than some people imagined, with Slugcatcher noting a recent series of setbacks around the world.


    No doubt includes Buru's experience

  7. Preparations Underway for Survey Over STP-SPA-0055 in Western Australia

    by Oilex Ltd.

    Press Release
    Monday, March 24, 2014-

    Oilex Ltd revealed Monday that the mobilization of aircraft and personnel for the acquisition of the airborne gravity/magnetics survey (Survey) over Special Prospecting Authority - STP-SPA-0055 in Western Australia has commenced.

    Acquisition, processing and interpretation of the Survey will be undertaken by CGG Aviation (Australia) Pty Ltd (CGG). The survey acquisition should commence before March 31 and take approximately 10 days to complete subject to weather and flying conditions.

    The primary Survey objective is to determine the extent to which the Wallal Graben as identified in adjacent acreage (STP-EPA-0106 and STP-EPA-0107 – also 100 percent held by Oilex) is present in STP-SPA-0055. The Survey will cover the entire STP-SPA-0055 area (~4,401 square miles or ~11,400 square kilometers). Subsequent to acquisition the Survey data will be analyzed and interpreted by CGG.

    Managing Director of Oilex, Ron Miller, said;

    “The initiation of our Canning Basin exploration programme within STP-SPA-0055 is an exciting milestone for Oilex. This is a true “frontier area” with limited data coverage at present. The prospectivity of our Canning Basin acreage will be significantly enhanced should the Survey data confirm the Wallal Graben does extend into this area. Oilex extend its sincere appreciation to the Martu, Njamal and Nyangumarta peoples, with whom we have been working with closely, who have kindly consented to Survey activities. Oilex is also pleased to be working with CGG on this stage on our Canning Basin project as they have significant experience in the Basin.” -

  8. Dear God can anything still survive there?


    Oil Spill Cleanup Efforts Continue Off Texas Gulf Shore

    TEXAS CITY, Texas, March 23 (Reuters) – Four skimming boats surrounded a partially submerged barge on Sunday at the entrance to the Houston Ship Channel, working to clean up fuel spilled from the vessel into Galveston Bay after a Saturday collision with a cargo ship, according to a Reuters eyewitness.

    The Houston Ship Channel remained shut on Sunday to contain the environmental damage and prevent additional collisions, said Coast Guard Capt. Brian Penoyer, who commands the maritime safety service's units in Houston and Galveston, Texas.

    The Channel will remain shut "until clean water is assured," Penoyer told reporters at a news conference in Texas City. Eight refineries accounting for nearly 12 percent of U.S. refining capacity are cut off from crude oil tankers while the 53-mile (85-kilometer) waterway linking the busiest U.S. petrochemcial port to the Gulf of Mexico is shut. The channel closure has not affected production at Exxon Mobil Corp.'s 560,500 barrel per day (bpd) Baytown, Texas refinery, the nation's second largest, a company spokesman said on Sunday afternoon.

    Penoyer said an estimated 4,000 barrels or 168,000 gallons (636,000 liters) of fuel oil were spilled due to the collision.

    A local official said the channel was expected to be shut for all of Sunday and possibly Monday.

    The official asked not to identified as the information had not yet been made public.

    - See more at:

    1. Environmental groups said the spill occurred at an especially sensitive time. The channel in Texas City, about 45 miles southeast of Houston, has important shorebird habitat on both sides and tens of thousands of wintering birds are still in the area.

      "The timing really couldn't be much worse since we're approaching the peak shorebird migration season," said Richard Gibbons, conservation director of the Houston Audubon Society. He noted that just to the east is the Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary, which attracts 50,000 to 70,000 shorebirds to shallow mud flats that are perfect foraging habitat.

  9. The Slug and the "Great Shale Flop"

    "Beach’s problems in the Cooper Basin, while not widely reported yet, could turn out to be a significant setback for Australia’s shale gas hopes, with the most disturbing possibility being higher gas prices for the major industrial and residential centres of Sydney and Melbourne."


    Slugcatcher and testing times for the world’s shale gas industry

    Monday, 24 March 2014

    MASTERING the technology used to discover and extract oil and gas from tight rocks, such as shale, is proving to be more difficult than some people imagined, with Slugcatcher noting a recent series of setbacks around the world.

    In the US, one of the oil majors, Royal Dutch Shell, has been forced to reorganise its shale operations after a singular lack of success and a $US3 billion ($A3.3 billion) loss from shale gas production last year.

    In Australia, one of the leading mid-tier explorers, Beach Energy, has suffered a setback with poor flow rates from its first horizontal shale well in South Australia’s Cooper Basin.

    In Britain, the government has been soundly rubbished by critics for talking up a “shale gas revolution” with just one well drilled, large tracts of land locked away by environmental agencies and no indication of when (or whether) shale gas will ever be produced – let alone produced in commercial quantities.

    The Shell setback was the big event because until now success in US shale has been widely seen as an easy achievement given the rates of production and the rapid development of new structures across that country.

    But, what Shell has found is that its top-heavy bureaucratic structure is not ideal in a fast-moving section of the oil and gas industry where size is not necessarily an advantage.

    Lack of commercial success has forced Shell to launch a widespread cost-cutting drive, which will see 400 staff removed from the shale business that has, so far, chewed up $24 billion in capital for minimal return.

    The shale flop has been described in recent critical reports as “one of Shell’s biggest headaches” with losses from shale operations effectively cancelling out all of its profits earned from conventional oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Shell’s newly installed chief executive Ben van Beurden has said Shell will either “fix or divest” its North American shale business, a process which might already be underway with the planned sale of assets in the Eagle Ford shale of Texas and the Mississippi Lime of Kansas.

    Beach’s problems in the Cooper Basin, while not widely reported yet, could turn out to be a significant setback for Australia’s shale gas hopes, with the most disturbing possibility being higher gas prices for the major industrial and residential centres of Sydney and Melbourne.

    What’s happened is that the Holdfast No.2 well and the Boston No.1 well were expected to deliver strong gas flows as they travelled horizontally through gas rich shales deep under the Cooper.

    They haven’t, or at least, they haven’t yet delivered as expected.

    The reported flow rate of 6-8 million cubic feet a day in Holdfast is regarded by outside observers as less than impressive while mechanical problems in both wells raised doubts about the technical abilities of Beach and its drilling crews.

    Macquarie Bank last week described Beach’s unconventional oil and gas exploration progress as “uninspiring”.

  10. Slugcatcher and testing times for the world’s shale gas industry

    Citibank, a few days earlier, said the Holdfast flow rate was disappointing even though it could also be said that it was early days.

    “From discussions with Beach we think there is likely to be mechanical issues with the well (Holdfast 2),” Citigroup said.

    Possible problems include a blockage or some facture stimulation stages not working.

    Coiled tubing is expected to be run to test for blockages but the Holdfast result was sufficiently disappointing for Citigroup to stick with a sell tip on Beach because of the high risk nature of the unconventional work.

    Macquarie is a little kinder, telling clients that Beach deserves a neutral investment rating but warned that the joint venture team running the unconventional program in the Cooper Basin was “grappling with mechanical issues”.

    In London, the criticism about the British government’s attempts to talk up a “shale gas revolution” has been scathing, with the Financial Times newspaper describing the program as a joke.

    “One shale gas well has been fracced in the UK,” the FT noted.

    “Two applications are pending but because of the length and complexity of the process it is quite possible that no more wells will be drilled in the UK this year.

    “This is in danger of becoming a revolution that never happens.”

    Understandable as the criticism is about a poor rate of shale gas technical and financial success, the latest burst of adverse commentary is a reminder that tight-rock exploration and development is a relatively new science with more failures ahead – just as there will be more achievements.

  11. Wesfarmers has overtaken Woodside as the most valuable WA brand in the financial world, according to UK consultants Brand Finance.

    The company, which released its Brand Finance Australia 100 list today, said the WA-based conglomerate (which owns Kmart, Coles and Target) commanded $1.5 billion in brand value of its own, growing its brand value by 32 per cent in the past year.


    Woodside is expected to sign Thursday its final agreements to take up equity in Israel's giant Leviathan gas project amid speculation that exports will be limited to 6 to 8 billion cubic metres a year, the Globes newspaper has reported.

    The restriction applies to gas exports via pipeline, the newspaper reported, citing licence conditions published Wednesday.

    The licence requires the partners in Leviathan to keep capacity of 8-10 billion cubic meters of gas a year for the domestic market, which would leave 6-8 BCM a year for exports.

    This volume of exports is enough for a single anchor customer, according to the report, which could be either Egypt or Turkey, but not both.


    The settlement of separate issues by partners in the project with the Antitrust Authority will clear the way for Woodside to sign agreements to take a 25 per cent stake in the venture for $US2.71 billion, the newspaper reported.


    1. Woodside misses deadline for Leviathan stake

      Woodside Petroleum has missed a deadline to seal a $US2.7 billion ($2.92 billion) deal for a stake in a natural gas project in Israel.

      Woodside had intended to take a 25 per cent stake in the Leviathan project with an $US850 million up-front payment, but has not yet agreed on terms with the Israeli government.

      Israeli media has reported Woodside, its joint venture partners and the Israeli government cannot agree on how profits would be taxed, with the company seeking to use its investments in the field to offset tax rates.

      Woodside said discussions would continue, with a view to resolving the issues and executing agreements.

      Israel's largest gas field is a key part of Woodside's future growth plans, but has been repeatedly delayed, as has its Browse project in Western Australia.

      Under the licence terms, the Noble Energy-led project must set aside 9.2 billion cubic metres of gas a year for use in Israel.

      Gas for domestic use would generate lower prices than exports, and the amount represents more than half of the current planned production.

  12. Good news for some


    Glencore suspends Australia coal mine as market worsens

    SYDNEY (Reuters) - Glencore Xstrata will suspend operations at its Ravensworth underground coal mine in Australia following a plunge in coal prices due to a supply glut.

    The move underscores the plight of coal miners operating in Australia, including AngloAmerican , BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto , which have closed mines and cut staff in recent months to combat worsening conditions.

    A Glencore spokesman said it was no longer financially viable to operate the Ravensworth mine owing to a combination of lower prices, high production costs, a strong Australian dollar and geological constraints in future mining areas.

    The mine produced 2.1 million tonnes of semi-soft coking coal in 2013 and will be placed on care and maintenance once work on a longwall section is completed in September, according to the spokesman.

    The price of coking coal used in steelmaking has tumbled by some $200 per tonne from its 2012 high above $300.

    Analysts blame the decline on a supply glut amid slowing growth in demand from Asian steel markets for imported coal.

    Recent metallurgical coal price settlements by major coal miners showed a fall in the price of all metallurgical coal types for the first quarter of 2014. The semi-soft coking coal benchmark price was settled at $103.50 per tonne, down $2 from the fourth quarter of 2013.

    The Ravensworth mine in the Hunter Valley coal belt of New South Wales state employs 130 full-time employees, according to Glencore.

    Redeployment options across the company's other mining operations are being investigated, it said.

    Over the past 18 months, 1,500 jobs have been lost in mining in the Hunter Valley as market conditions worsen, according to Stephen Galilee, chief executive of the New South Wales Minerals Council.

    The Ravensworth underground mine operates as a joint venture between Resource Pacific Pty Ltd, a company owned by Glencore and Marubeni <8002.T>, and South Korean steelmaker Posco.


    As majority shareholder of Resource Pacific, Glencore oversees the management of the mine.

    Most recently, BHP and coal mining partner Mitsubishi <8058.T> 230 jobs would go at the Saraji coking coal mine in Queensland state to enable it to remain viable.

  13. Not a surprise after the "too expensive" boat ramp was scrapped and the plan to get Aboriginal Housing built in Broome and Derby so people could own their own homes and get out from Homeswest has also been put off.


    Report finds Broome Port wharf infrastructure okay for now

    The Broome Port Authority says it is confident its existing wharf infrastructure is adequate until at least 2020.

    An external consultant was hired to assess demand for growth of the port, which is supplies the growing offshore oil and gas sector and the ongoing live export markets.

    The Broome wharf was built in 1966 in the shape of a number seven and its last major extension was eight years ago.

    Port CEO Vic Justice says the consultant's report found the port will not reach capacity and need upgrading for about another six years.

    "We keep monitoring the level of ship usage of the wharf - as soon as the average wharf usage is 60-75 per cent that becomes the trigger for us to say, we need to start planning a wharf extension," he said.

    "They showed that the capacity and capabilities at our wharf will enable us to operate with our existing facilities for at least the next six years before we get to any problems with our ship congestions where we have ships banked up trying to get alongside our wharf."


    Could it be more of Barnett's plans to wreck JPP ?

  14. If the Feds were serious about cutting the deficit here is a great way to save untold billions - and a shed load of trouble.

    More billions and more trouble could also be saved by scrapping the ludicrous submarine plan - but will they? NO - cuts to education are more their style.


    F-35 Joint Strike Fighters: Australia's biggest Defence acquisition 'unaffordable', US congressional committee hears

    ............The first two of Australia's initial order of 14 F-35s is expected to be delivered this year at a cost of just under $US130 million each.

    Federal Cabinet's national security committee is expected to endorse the purchase of an additional 58 F-35s next month.

    But the head of the JSF program, US Air Force Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan, visited Australia two weeks ago and declared the reliability and maintainability of the aircraft was not yet "good enough".


    "The estimate now is deemed unaffordable.

    "That's all got as much to do with reliability of the aircraft as anything else.

    "This is a critical point."

    California Democrat Loretta Sanchez told the hearing that all three versions of the aircraft were below their planned reliability.

    "If you're paying for it but not flying it, that's bad news," she said.


    The committee heard countries like Australia may risk paying millions of dollars more per aircraft because Italy, Turkey and Canada have or are considering delaying their purchases.

    "If those three partners choose to push airplanes out or reduce their buy, it will have an effect on all the other partners and the services buying the aircraft to the tune of about 2-3 per cent increase in price," Lieutenant General Bogdan said.

    He and Mr Sullivan agreed that the program's biggest risk is software development.

    "The longer it takes to complete that software development, of course the longer you remain concurrent between testing and production, and that means more changes could take place before you finally get the aircraft that you want," he said.

    "All that stuff creates costs and inefficiency."